Kamat clears way for CBI probe into Goa drug nexus

Monday, January 24, 2011

PANAJI - Bowing to pressure from both opposition and ruling party legislators, Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat Monday said he has handed over the police-politicians-drug mafia nexus case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

“I have cleared the file which had come to me from the home department. It will be sent automatically to the CBI,” Kamat said.

The state’s Home Minister Ravi Naik’s son Roy and several key police officers have been linked to the drug mafia operating in Goa.

Both opposition and ruling party legislators have accused Ravi Naik and a section of state cadre police officers of sabotaging investigations into the drug nexus, which was unearthed last year.

A Swedish model and a former girlfriend of an Israeli drug dealer, Yaniv Benaim alias Atala, had uploaded videos on www.youtube.com last year which exposed the latter’s links with state cadre police officers.

The model, Lucky Farmhouse, had also said that Naik’s son Roy had links with Atala.

Seven policemen were suspended, arrested and later released on bail last year following the revelations.

Two weeks back, another sting operation conducted by the kin of yet another Israeli drug dealer showed a sub-inspector attached to an elite anti-narcotics unit of the state police selling drugs to foreign nationals.

The Panaji bench of the Bombay High Court is hearing a petition filed by the National Students Union of India (NSUI) president who has sought a CBI probe into the drug mafia-politicians nexus.

The opposition has already demanded that Naik should be stripped of his portfolio, a demand which was rejected by the Congress high command Jan 21. It said that the drug nexus issue was nothing special.

“It is not restricted to Goa alone. It is there in many states,” Congress general secretary in charge of Goa B.K. Hariprasad had said here Jan 21.

The chief minister had not sent any report about drug trade in Goa to the party chief Sonia Gandhi, he had added.

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